If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) would tell his old friend that President Donald Trump is “a racist” who “doesn’t understand the meaning of your life and the significance of the civil-rights movement.”
The congressman also revealed in a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine that he’d tell King that “we have come a distance, we have made some progress, but we still have a great distance to go before we lay down the burden of racism.”
Lewis, 79, was himself a civil rights leader who marched alongside King in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. He indicated in the interview that he’d felt more hopeful back then than he does now:
Yeah, I was very hopeful when we were marching across that bridge. I was very, very hopeful when we were sitting in or speaking at the March on Washington. But we cannot lose hope.
Lewis described King as “my friend, my mentor” and “like a big brother” in a series of memorable tweets to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2017.
Lewis has previously claimed that Trump was not a “legitimate” president and that being racist “must be” in his DNA. He boycotted the 2017 opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum because Trump would be in attendance.
“The struggles represented in this museum exemplify the truth of what really happened in Mississippi,” he explained at the time. “After President Trump departs, we encourage all Mississippians and Americans to visit this historic civil rights museum.”